By Wilbert Mukori
Well, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has defied SADC and AU who condemned the 23 August 2023 election process as a flawed and illegal process that could not produce a legitimate. He has gone ahead and staged his inauguration and present the world with a Zanu PF government fait accompli. What is the world going to do about it?
The short answer to that is: Mnangagwa must not be allowed to get away with his arrogant disregard of the rule of law. Zanu PF has got away with rigged elections since the country’s independence, 43 years ago, turning Zimbabwe into the textbook failed state; this madness must now be stamped out.
SADC and AU election observers said Zimbabwe’s 23 August 2023 elections were not free, fair and credible pointing out such glaring flaws as ZEC’s failure to produce something as basic as a verified voters roll. The truth is the observers were pointing out well documented the flaws and illegalities it was impossible for Zanu PF and its supporters to deny the flaws and illegalities much less refute the conclusion that it was impossible for such flawed and illegal election process to produce a legitimate result. Impossible!
Mnangagwa and his Zanu PF cronies tried to get discredit the SADC Election Observer Mission (SEOM) report by mounting a ferocious attack on Dr Never Mumba, the SEOM head – a typical Zanu PF dirty tactic of attacking the messenger since they could not dispute the message. When that failed, the regime brought in SADC Panel of Elders in the hope they would water down the SEOM report. That too failed.
In the end Mnangagwa decided to ignore SADC and AU condemnation of the election and declare himself and his regime legitimate. His 4 September inauguration present the world with a fait accompli Zanu PF government! The question is what is the world going to do about it?
SADC and AU leaders have stand firm by their reports condemning the elections and refuse to grant Zanu PF political legitimacy. Most of the SADC and AU leaders did not attend Mnangagwa’s inauguration, signalling their disapproval. They must follow this up by withdrawing their cooperation with the regime and imposing sanctions.
Zimbabwe’s opposition must not take up their seats in parliament to deny the regime any modicum of legitimacy and feel this can ever be business as usual. It is the very least these sell out opposition leaders can do.
Lest some people should ever forget, Zimbabwe is still stuck in this political mess of rigged elections precisely because MDC/CCC leaders not only sold out by failing to implement even one democratic reform to stop Zanu PF rigging elections but have compounded the situation by insisting in participating in these flawed elections out of greed.
Neither Zanu PF nor the sell out opposition should profit from the political paralysis in Zimbabwe today. Even more significantly neither should play a role in the way forward, They failed to implement even one token reform during the first GNU, it is naive, to say the least, to expect them to do any better.
Both SADC and AU played a major role in denying Zanu PF political legitimacy following the 2008 elections resulting in the formation of the 2008 to 2013 GNU. The people of Zimbabwe we must accept we let ourselves down by failing to force Zanu PF and MDC leaders to implement all the democratic reforms. We failed to give SADC our full backing when the regional leaders tried to get the reforms implemented.
This time, we must not be found wanting in giving both SADC and AU our full backing in demanding an end to Zimbabwe’s curse of rigged elections and bad governance. We have a real chance of having a new GNU and a chance to finally get the democratic reforms finally implemented, we must not waste it!